Nukus – the capital of Karakalpakstan

The original capital of Karakalpakstan was Turtkul, but due to its proximity to the Amu Darya River and the associated risk of flooding, it was decided in 1930 to move the capital to Nukus.

Nukus was founded in the place of the old settlement of Shurcha, which existed from the 4th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D. This settlement was located on the site of today’s cemetery, which makes excavations difficult. Nevertheless, Shurcha controlled the waterway of the Amu Darya and was an important city of the Khorezm Empire.

The city’s main attraction is the Igor Savitsky Art Museum, which houses a unique collection of Russian avant-garde art and ethnography of people of Central Asia.

About 20 km from Nukus is the Mizdakhan complex; according to local belief, Adam is buried here. As a result, a prominent complex grew around his tomb. 

The population of the region is mainly engaged in agriculture. The main crops are cotton and rice, but farm animals are also kept. During the Soviet period, fishing played an important role, but after the shrinking of the Aral Sea, many fishermen had to give up their profession.

General information: 

  • Population: 316,000 (2019)
  • Elevation: 476 m

Traditional dish:

Beshbarmak is a dish known to several peoples of Central Asia. There is a festive variant of cooking, as well as an ordinary option. For the festive version, several varieties of meat are chosen, including horse meat. In everyday life, a simpler version is used, where usually one type of meat is used. In Karakalpakstan, unlike other regions of Central Asia, you can try this dish with turkey meat. 

Air connections: Nukus has an airport from which international flights to Russia and local flights to Tashkent are offered.

Railway connection: Nukus train station offers departures to Urgench and from there to other cities of Uzbekistan. There is also a direct connection to Tashkent, which takes 20-25 hours, depending on the train. Often these are trains that initially depart from Russia to Uzbekistan.

Do you have questions or need a personal consultation?

Use our contact form and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.